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Best credit cards for shopping in 2022

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A credit card that earns you rewards for your shopping can lighten the load of your spending. Plus, rewards cards for shopping typically offer purchase protection for eligible items in the event of loss, damage or theft—a crucial perk.

Here, we’ll take a look at the best credit cards for all types of shopping—focusing on online shopping, grocery shopping, purchase protection and department store shopping—so you can choose the best card for your spending.

Best shopping credit cards

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best online shopping credit card for reaping rewards

  • Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement); 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 of combined 2 percent and 3 percent categories each quarter, then earn 1 percent); 1 percent back on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: $200 in online cash rewards after you make $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days of account opening
  • Annual fee: $0

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is one of our top picks for online shopping credit cards as it offers a comprehensive selection of shopping categories. Instead of just the usual Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com rewards, you can earn rewards on a wide range of websites, including specialty merchants like Etsy.com, Nike.com, Apple.com, Nordstrom.com and Bestbuy.com, among others.

If you don’t want to earn 3 percent back on online shopping one month, you can swap that category out for one of the other eligible categories that earn 3 percent cash back. Keep in mind there’s a $2,500 quarterly spending cap on combined 2 and 3 percent categories.

Additionally, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and the $200 cash rewards bonus (earned after you spend $1,000 during the first 90 days of account opening) is pretty significant compared to other mid-tier cash back cards.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card last updated on 03.14.22

Citi Double Cash Card: Best online shopping credit card for earning as you pay

  • Rewards rate: 2 percent cash back—1 percent back when you make a purchase and an additional 1 percent back as you pay for your purchases
  • Welcome bonus: For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Annual fee: $0

Need a little help making sure you pay off your online purchases each month? The Citi® Double Cash Card should probably be your pick. For no annual fee, the card earns an unlimited 1 percent cash back on every purchase and an additional 1 percent back on your purchases when you pay them off each month.

If you already have credit card debt from shopping, the Citi Double Cash can also serve as a balance transfer card with its 18-month 0 percent introductory APR offer on balance transfers 16.24% – 26.24% variable APR after that). To take advantage of this offer, you must transfer your balance within four months from account opening. It should also be noted that there’s an intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3 percent of each transfer (whichever is greater) on transfers completed within the first four months.

Discover it Cash Back: Best online shopping credit card for seasonal spending

  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on quarterly rotating categories after activation (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent); 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: All cash back earned within the first 12 months will be automatically matched
  • Annual fee: $0

If your online shopping is heavier during certain seasons (like around the holidays), the Discover it® Cash Back is a useful card to take advantage of—you can earn 5 percent cash back after activation (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1 percent) at major online retailers. And if you’re a new cardholder, all the cash rewards you’ll collect during your first year will be matched. The Discover quarterly categories for 2022 are:

  • January to March (Q1): Grocery stores, fitness clubs, gym memberships
  • April to June (Q2): Gas stations, Target
  • July to September (Q3): Restaurants, PayPal
  • October to December (Q4): Amazon, digital wallets

Alternatively, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a competitive option that might be worth considering instead. The Chase Freedom Flex offers 5 percent back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent) and on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases; 5 percent cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2025); 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstore purchases; and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

However, unlike Discover, Chase doesn’t issue its quarterly bonus categories in advance, which can make it difficult to plan shopping purchases. And if you’d like to pool your rewards with another Chase Ultimate Rewards card, or if your favorite stores’ merchant category codes better align with Chase’s bonus categories, this might the better option for you.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: Best grocery credit card for overall rewards

  • Rewards rate: 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent); 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services; 3 percent back on transit; 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations; 1 percent back on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Earn $350 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months
  • Annual fee: $95

If earning rewards on grocery store purchases is your biggest goal for your credit card, it’s hard to beat the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. For an annual fee of $95, the card offers a pretty solid reward rate for groceries, allowing you to earn 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases each year. After you hit that cap, you’ll earn 1 percent back on your purchases.

Should your family spend more than $6,000 a year (or $500 a month) on groceries, you may be better off with a flat-rate grocery store credit card (like the next option on our list) or else upgrading to the American Express® Gold Card if you’re a fan of earning travel rewards on your grocery and restaurant purchases.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best grocery credit card for foodies

  • Rewards rate: 8 percent cash back on Vivid Seats purchases (until January 2023); 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery store purchases (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target); 1 percent on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening
  • Annual fee: $0

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great no-annual-fee card for those who want to earn cash back rewards on both grocery store purchases and restaurant purchases.

The Capital One SavorOne offers a similar cash back rewards rate as its sister card, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card*, but without the $95 annual fee. With the Capital One SavorOne, you’ll earn an unlimited 3 percent cash back at grocery stores—perfect for households that prefer a no-hassle rewards structure. You’ll also get 3 percent back on dining and entertainment, like eating at restaurants, ordering takeout and seeing a movie.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best purchase protection credit card for everyday spenders

  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5 percent cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2022); 3 percent cash back at restaurants; 3 percent cash back at drugstores; 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Earn an additional 1.5 percent cash back on top of all purchases’ original cash back rate (on up to $20,000) for the first year (Bankrate offer)
  • Annual fee: $0

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of the best cash back credit cards on the market. In terms of shopping, you’ll be able to make great use of the card’s purchase protection. Purchases made with your card are covered against damage, loss or theft for the first 120 days. You’re protected for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. To qualify for the protection, you must notify Chase within 90 days of the incident. For stolen items, it’s required that you file a police report within 48 hours of the theft.

Chase also extends the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by one extra year on eligible purchases made with your card. The original warranty must be three years or less, and your coverage extends up to $10,000 per claim and a maximum of $50,000 per account.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best purchase protection credit card for globe-trotting shoppers

  • Rewards rate: 10X points on Lyft purchases (through March 2025); 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, hotel stays and car rentals through Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on air travel through Ultimate Rewards (after earning your $300 travel credit); 3X points on general travel and restaurant purchases; 1X points on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening (equal to $900 when redeemed for travel)
  • Annual fee: $550

If you’re in the market for a luxury travel credit card, but also seeking first-rate purchase protections, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is worth looking at. Similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited, the Chase Sapphire Reserve covers purchases made with the card for the first 120 days in the event of loss, damage or theft. Return protection, however, is unique to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you make a purchase with your card (within 90 days) that isn’t available for return, Chase will cover you for up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: Best department store credit card for rotating categories

  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on purchases in two eligible categories of your choice (on up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter, then 1 percent): 2 percent cash back on one eligible everyday category; 1 percent back on all other eligible purchases
  • Welcome bonus: $200 bonus after you apply online and spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening
  • Annual fee: $0

If you spend a significant portion of your monthly budget on department store purchases, the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card can help you earn cash back rewards without the limitations of a store credit card.

The card allows you to select department stores as a category to earn 5 percent cash back in, and you can repeatedly do so each quarter. The department store category includes well-known retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and more. Seeing as you can choose two categories to earn 5 percent cash back in (on up to $2,000 in combined purchases, then 1 percent), you might also consider electing “select clothing stores” as a category. This includes brands like GAP, J.Crew and American Eagle Outfitters.

The bottom line

If you shop a lot online, at grocery stores or at department stores, it would be worthwhile to regain some of what you spend each year. Choosing the right credit card for your shopping needs can help you to maximize rewards, receive lucrative benefits or better protect your purchases.

*The information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Credit Card Reviews Writer
Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate.com teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit card guides focused on cash back, credit scores and card offers.
Edited by
Associate Editor